- 2018 marks the 8th year of International Coworking Day
- It was started by a workspace operator in Rio de Janeiro and is now gaining traction with coworking operators all over the world
- We’ve rounded up 8 popular articles that tell the story of coworking’s growth, and how its future might unfold
August 9th is International Coworking Day, a celebration that started back in 2010 with a short email sent by a space operator in Rio de Janeiro to the Coworking Google Group.
Since then, operators around the world have been marking International Coworking Day. Some organize a free week or day of coworking, some go bowling, some organize coworking services raffles, and some use the occasion to set a new world record.
International Coworking Day is the perfect excuse to bring people together, to raise awareness, and to celebrate what operators have accomplished with the passing of the years. It’s an occasion that helps operators and workspace members remember that they are part of something bigger, of a larger community.
This year, to celebrate the event, we want to share with you 8 articles that show the far-reaching impact coworking has had within the flexible workspace industry and beyond, as well as the growth of the industry itself over the past year.
Although 10+ years ago coworking was seen as a trend or movement that was likely to fade off, today the reality is much different. The way we work is changing, the workforce generation has changed, and people’s preferences regarding the workplace are not at all like they used to be. Coworking today is the norm, it’s the example and model many entrepreneurs look to as to how a workplace should look and feel.
- Corporate Coworking And Niche Spaces Are The Future Of The Workspace Industry: A Q&A With Steve King
Coworking is no longer just for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startups. Quite the contrary, coworking is for everyone. Seriously! The Coworking Forecast estimates that by 2022, 5 million people will be coworking. And then there’s the increased adoption of coworking spaces by corporates and large enterprises. Moreover, with competition increasing among operators, many are opting to create niche spaces to cater to specific market needs and demands.
Coworking first gained traction in the US and UK markets. Today, it has moved far beyond that, with Asia being one of the fastest growing markets in coworking. In fact, research has revealed a 40% growth in memberships in Asia, which is well above the global average. This is another perfect example of how coworking is the new norm across regions and countries.
Although WeWork and International Workplace Group tend to steal national and international headlines, they aren’t yet fully dominating the coworking arena. Research from The Instant Group found this year that independent operators make up 93% of the US market, proving that even though large companies prefer larger operators, the rest of the market prefers local operators that are truer to the original coworking values.
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As coworking moves into the mainstream and more people become familiar with the concept, landlords and property owners are beginning to realize the full potential that coworking holds. One of the most recent trends we’ve observed in the industry is the increased number of “management contracts” being signed by operators. This is great news as it can allow operators to grow more, while helping them reduce some of the initial costs.
In order to keep the business running, money is needed. While back in the day it was hard for operators to get much funding or financial support, the reality is quite different today, with many investors taking keen interest in the industry. However, to raise funds you need a strategy, a story, and a solid network. More importantly, however, you should ask yourself whether you really need to raise funds, especially as there are now alternative ways to grow and increase your footprint.
The Space-as-a-Service model is gathering attention as landlords realize that they need to change their mindset about the traditional notions of public and private space. Fact is, landlords must embrace flexible workspaces, and the Space-as-a-Service models allows them to rent out their square footage for flexible working initiatives. The value proposition of partnering with Space-as-a-Service providers that operate at a small scale is that it gives landlords greater choice over the design of the space. As for coworking operators, it can help you grow your brand without having to pay for it all yourself.
Yes, we know we are celebrating International Coworking Day. However, as language evolves and coworking develops, will the term ‘coworking’ still accurately reflect our industry in 5-10 years’ time? Coworking was initially conceived as an open space where people could co-work. Today, most spaces offer a mix of private and open space to suit the needs of the market. Over the past years, we’ve seen spaces that used to self-define as serviced offices or executive suites that are now using the coworking label, and we’ve also seen operators that used the label of coworking switch to a name that embraced workspace overall.
We hope you have a wonderful International Coworking Day. Let us know how you are celebrating on Facebook or Twitter!